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March 17, 2005

Trustees committee okays capital projects

Pitt’s Board of Trustees budget committee okayed four capital budget projects this week, including purchase of the University Club and construction of a new undergraduate dormitory.

The trustees property and facilities committee approved the four projects last month (see March 3 University Times); the action of the budget committee was necessary to approve funding as an addition to Pitt’s fiscal year 2005 capital budget.

The total cost of the four projects is projected to be $44.7 million.

Approved by the budget committee March 15 were:

• Purchase of the University Club, an 81-year-old building at 123 University Place. Pitt will pay $3.1 million for the eight-story building and the one-acre property, contingent on inspections, according to Executive Vice Chancellor Jerome Cochran.

• Construction of a 10-story, $33.2-million dormitory that will add 512 beds to the Pittsburgh campus. The dorm will be a sister facility to the recently opened Pennsylvania Hall, to be located just west of that building.

At the March 15 budget committee meeting, Cochran corrected a report he made following the Feb. 28 property and facilities committee meeting. The new residence hall is expected to be ready for occupancy in fall 2007, not 2006, Cochran said.

• Approved the $5.6 million construction of an upper-campus underground electrical substation, to accommodate increased demand for electricity.

• Approved step one of renovations for the University-owned Loeffler Building, located at Forbes and Meyran avenues, at a projected cost of $2.9 million.

In other budget committee business, members recommended that the full Board of Trustees authorize Pitt’s financial officers to expand the indebtedness capacity from $60 million to $120 million of Pitt asset notes (informally called PANTHERS) that finance certain shorter-lived capital expenditures, such as capital equipment and library acquisitions.

—Peter Hart

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